Fire at former Royal Doulton pottery factory

Fire crews at Royal Doulton Staffordshire Fire and Rescue service said it was too early to say how the fire started

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Firefighters have been tackling a large fire at a former pottery factory in Stoke-on-Trent.

At its height more than 30 firefighters dealt with blaze on the first floor of the derelict Royal Doulton building in Nile Street, Burslem.

The fire service said it was brought under control after a number of hours but one crew was still on site.

The factory closed in 2005. Plans by developer St Modwen to build 140 houses on the site were put on hold in 2012.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue service said it was too early to say how the fire started.

Demolition plan

Witness David Morris, 43, said: "I couldn't see any flames coming out of the actual building but the smoke itself must've been about 40m up.

"You could see smoke from the town centre and as I got closer it was coming out of the windows and the roof rafters."

St Modwen bought the site in 2004 for about £2.4m.

Plans to knock down the factory and build houses stalled last year because it could not do a deal with Stoke-on-Trent city council, the developer said.

Regional director Mike Herbert said: "In our view it is in the best interest of the local community to demolish the derelict buildings to enable the redevelopment of the site for housing.

"We have previously spoken to the council about the best way forward for this site but have yet to reach an agreement."

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